Hold Your Nose! Corpse Flower to Hit Peak Bloom at US Botanic Garden | NBC4 Washington
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Hold Your Nose! Corpse Flower to Hit Peak Bloom at US Botanic Garden

Viewers say corpse flower smells like “a combination of garlic, fish, diapers and rotting meat," US Botanic Garden says in statement

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    What to Know

    • A corpse flower, named for its odor, is expected to hit peak bloom at the garden soon.

    • The plant's smell is described as "a combination of garlic, fish, diapers and rotting meat."

    • The last time the garden displayed a blooming corpse flower was 2013.

    Planning a trip to the United States Botanic Garden? You might want to plug your nose.

    A corpse flower, named for its odor, is expected to hit peak bloom at the garden from Thursday to Sunday, the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) said in a release Monday.

    “We’re open until 8 p.m. every night while the flower is getting ready to bloom. As soon as we see it’s going into its ‘stench cycle’ let’s call it, we’re going to stay open until 11 o’clock at night,” said Ari Novy, the executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden, told WTOP Radio.

    Viewers have described the plant's smell as "a combination of garlic, fish, diapers and rotting meat," the USBG said in the statement.

    Your nose won't be happy, but your eyes will enjoy the display. The flower, native to Indonesia rain forests and nicknamed "the stinky plant," can grow up to 12 feet tall. Though the purple-green plant looks like one giant bud, it is actually made up of hundreds of tiny (smelly) flowers.

    The last time the garden displayed a blooming corpse flower was 2013 -- and it wasn't the one you're about to see this week. 

    Corpse flowers bloom erratically, since it can take anywhere from years to decades for the large plant to get enough energy to bloom. The plant that's about to stun us all with its stinkiness is blooming for the first time, at six years old.

    The corpse flower went on display at the garden Friday. Though it normally closes at 5 p.m., USBG will stay open until 8 p.m. while the flower is there and keep its doors open until 11 p.m. during peak bloom.